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Computer heating  up

Posted on 1998-08-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I just bought myself a new O'Sullivan computer work station and have placed my mini tower inside the unit near my feet, with a door which keeps it out of site.

Since then, the side panels of the sytem have become quite warm/hot.  Is this dangerous?  The back side of the table is open, but the wall is blocking any air from freely entering the rear, and furthermore there a lot of cables etc coming out of the back, so ventilation is very little.  The gap is about 3 inches from the rear opening to the wall.

Should I be concerned?  The CPU fan is working fine so I dont think anythink it will overheat?  The mini tower was previously on top of a table with sufficient ventilation.
I could just leave the door panel open for air, but this defeats the whole purpse.  I also have been leaving the computer on 24 hours a day, is this bad?
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Question by:ey143
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6 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
wayneb earned 60 total points
ID: 1020398
Computers get hot, this is normal you can put a case fan inside to help cool the system but it is not or should not be needed. I to leave my computer on 24/7 as do my servers stay on 24/7/365 so there should be no worri. These computer stands are designed to allow heat to escape. The faster the cpu and the more harddrives you have in the system can increase heat in side or outside the computer.  Be sure that the cpu fan is working as this can damage the cpu.
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Expert Comment

by:mitek
ID: 1020399
Leaving computer on for 24 hours is not bad, it's way better than turning it on and off every day. Ideally, computers should ALWAYS be on, since turning them on/off forces them to go through entire boot sequence which wears out the hardware faster.

Overheating is dangerous if the fan is broken. If computer overheats, it will crash, try to boot again, crash again, and so on. If this happens if no-one is around, it may be dangerous.

So, it's probably a good idea to turn it off when leaving.

I wouldn't be much concerned about overheat as long as someone is around the computer. You can always know that it is overheated if it starts crashing for no reason.

But again, my opinion is that if the fan works fine and there is some kind of ventilation, it should be fine.

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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ryans
ID: 1020400
Don't forget about the power supply fan!  I have had a power supply fan die on me and everything was working fine. I noticed it one day when I was cleaning my office and an old mouse pad I had on top of my tower was "glued" to the case.  And the paint on the inside of the case above the power supply turned brown.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:juggernaut
ID: 1020401
Your computer will heat if its not in proper ventilation what i hear from your point of view is that theres not enough space for your computer to breath u need at least 15cm from the wall or whateva to the computer. it sounds like your computer is recyling the air that it brings out
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Author Comment

by:ey143
ID: 1020402
Ok, here is an update.

I just bought a new Pentium II 400 mhz, placed this into my new table cabinet, and shocked to find that it only just fits in, both by width and length.

There is just about 1" literally of space at the sides and at the top.  My motherboard and 400 mhz zhip has a backup fan if the temp gets too hot, and kicks in, in addition to the normal fan.  The heat sink is huge, a few inches itself.

I have no other real solution, moving the computer is pretty much out of the question as there is no other space, so I guess what I am looking for is reassurance that nothing will blow up.

The motherboard also has a temp control, which tells me the real time temp of the CPU.  At present, it's 51 degrees centigrade being in the case and on all day.  I can set the motherboard to tell me if the chip heats over x temp.

Very finally, I understand that you can get a PC Air conditioner that will actually cool the PC inside.  I plan to add a SCSI card, internal zip and 2nd hard drive in the near future, so it will probably heat up further.

Would anyone like to comment further?

Thanks.

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Author Comment

by:ey143
ID: 1020403
PS Does anyone know the range of the operating temp of a typical CPU chip (in degrees centigrade?)
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